Wizards Look for First Road Win Tonight in Memphis
Posted Nov 24 2006 10:21AM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
Statistics indicate the Washington Wizards have one of the NBA's top offenses. Their play on the road, however, tells a considerably different story.
The Wizards go for their first road win of the season when they face the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.
Washington's six straight road losses to open a season are the most for the franchise since the 1986-87 Bullets dropped their first seven road games.
Despite shooting 39 percent and averaging 88.7 points on the road, the Wizards (4-7) rank third among Eastern Conference teams with 99.3 points per contest. Washington has been held to 82 points or less in three of its six road games.
``As funny as it sounds, and I know this sounds funny coming from us, but if we can get our offense to catch up with our defense, we're going to be fine,'' guard Antonio Daniels said after the Wizards shot 33 percent in an 86-82 loss at Houston on Wednesday.
Gilbert Arenas scored 26 points to lead Washington, but went 8-for-26 from the field. He is fourth in the NBA with 28.3 points per game.
Washington finished the first half 11-of-44 from the field (25 percent) and its 28 first-half points were a season low.
``We're one of the best offensive teams in this league,'' Daniels said. ``For us to have 28 points in the first half, that's just not us.''
Players have expressed frustration over not finishing games, but also have shown signs that things will turn around.
``All we need is a shot here or a call there and we're winning these games,'' said Caron Butler, who is 14-for-38 (37 percent) from the field over the past three games.
After earning its second win of the season Monday against Orlando, Memphis (2-9) lost the next day 97-94 at Cleveland.
Grizzlies rookie guard Kyle Lowry will be out indefinitely after breaking his left wrist against the Cavaliers. The former Villanova standout is averaging 5.6 points, 3.2 assists and a team-high 1.4 steals in 17.5 minutes per game.
``I just really feel badly for the young man,'' Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said. ``He's really coming on and he loves to play. He has a passion for the game. Obviously, he's made significant contributions for us. People were seeing a glimpse of the future.''
Fratello already was without star big man Pau Gasol, who might not return until January due to a broken foot.
Chucky Atkins had 17 points and Mike Miller added 15 with a season-high seven assists for the Grizzlies on Tuesday.
Atkins leads the team with 15.3 points per game. Miller is second with 15.0.
Memphis won both of its games against Washington last season, holding the Wizards to 90.0 points per contest.
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